A quick office poll revealed that Mom’s meat loaf fell into one of two camps: smothered in ketchup or smothered in Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, that ubiquitous “sauce” of the ’70s. I’d still eat either in a pinch, but as my taste in beverages has graduated from milk to wine, so has my appreciation for new-school shaped-meat dishes. So, here’s a list of six YYC meat loafs that we at Avenue know and love.
CRMR Not that I would, but you can easily pass this beef tenderloin meat loaf off as your own since you buy it frozen and heat it up at home in your oven. It’s one of the store’s biggest sellers and no wonder: it’s simply delicious. (And I’m a liar. I’ve served it and pretended I made it.) (330 17 Ave. S.W., 403-532-0241
Diner Deluxe Every single time I go to Diner Deluxe I say, “I’m not getting the [veal] meat loaf. I’m going to try something different.” But my resolve is weak and the party of flavours in this entre – red pepper jelly, pan gravy, Dijon mashed potatoes along with a side of grilled veggies (meh) – gets me every time. (804 Edmonton Tr., 403-276-5499, dinerdeluxe.com)
Local 510, 522 and 002 It’s wrapped in bacon, served with cheddar cream sauce and mashed potatoes. Enough said. (510 17 Ave. S.W., 403-229-4036; 522 6 Ave. S.W., 403-244-6773; 2 Richard Way S.W., 403-240-3619, localtavern.ca)
Open Range Made with locally raised venison and served with salsa roja and crispy fried onions, this is a thoroughly modern meat loaf with a nod to the ’70s. (403-277-3408, 1114 Edmonton Tr. N.E., open-range.ca)
Spolumbo’s With its slices of turkey meat loaf with cheese on a baguette, this savoury sandwich – served on Wednesdays – is a light-ish choice in this sausage-centric local institution. Mamma’s meat loaf, served Thursday to Saturday, is more on the burly side with sausage meat, mortadella and mozza on a bun. (1308 9 Ave. S.E., 403-264-6452, spolumbos.com)
Sunterra There’s nothing fancy about the deli meat loaf at the Keynote Sunterra Market, and sometimes that’s how you want it. Topped with tangy tomato sauce, a hearty slab of this take-out dish is a perfect weekday meal. Alternately, pick up the ready to cook bacon and cheddar meatloaf mix found in the meat case. (200 12 Ave. S.E., 403-261-1629, sunterramarket.com/st/index.asp)